This is, perhaps, in part due to the fact that a quick search of the web for weight loss tips will reveal countless pages of information, many of which conflict with each other. Although there are some basic principles that everyone can use to lose weight, there's no one size fits all type of diet for optimal health.
Some people respond better to a vegetarian diet, while others do better with restricting their carb intake. Learning about the most popular diet of the hour won't necessarily help you. But don't worry, to find the best diet for you, all you have to do is ask yourself a few simple questions.
The Energy Balance Equation
Let's get the basic principles out of the way first. The key to weight loss comes down to a simple equation: calories in minus calories out. If the answer to the equation is negative, you'll lose weight. A positive number will result in weight gain.
The rest of your diet will come down to preference and what foods make you feel best in your day-to-day life.
Can You Stick With It?
The number one question you need to ask yourself before starting a diet is whether or not you can stick with it. If the answer is no, this isn't the diet for you. Your new diet shouldn't be a temporary thing, but rather, a new lifestyle.
If a potential diet is asking you to eat foods that you know you hate or to eat six times a day when you can barely squeeze in two meals, it's unlikely that you'll be able to stick with it long term.
Is It Safe?
Avoid diets that call for purchasing supplements, cleanses, or special drinks. These are invariably scams. A healthy, worthwhile diet will only require you to eat real foods and move a bit more, with your best interest in mind.
In addition, stay away from diets that claim you can lose an exorbitant amount of weight in a small window of time. These often require starvation methods or other dangerous tactics.
If you need to cut back on calories, look into popular intermittent fasting methods. These will help you restrict but don't require you to starve yourself.
Remember that healthy weight loss is slow. You should only expect to lose one to two pounds a week.
Does It Include Your Favorite Foods?
Everything in moderation. A diet that restricts you from every treat and all of your favorite foods is not only unnecessary but will also make it extremely difficult for you to keep up with.
Sure, if you're eating chocolate cake at every meal, you're going to have to cut back, but you shouldn't have to give it up entirely. Keep an occasional treat in your meal plan!
Use This Guide to Find the Right Type of Diet for You
It's time to forget everything you've heard about the most popular diet or the diet that works best. To determine the type of diet that suits you best, you need to take your personal preferences, habits, and lifestyle into account.
When you find the right diet for you, you likely won't feel as though you're on a diet at all.
For more tips on improving your diet and overall health, take a look at our blog!